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Bury Council To Consider Buying Shakers

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 2:52pm

By Joseph Timan - Local Democracy Reporter

Bury council will consider entering negotiations to buy Bury FC.

An emergency motion instructing the local authority to express its interest in the football club will be discussed at the town hall tonight.

If it passes, the council’s chief executive and chief financial officer would have to secure a price for the club which has been expelled from the football league by Wednesday, September 18.

The following day, Bury Council would have to inform the English Football League of the potential purchase and put together a “credible” business plan.

If all goes to plan, an emergency meeting would be held at the town hall where councillors would vote on whether to purchase the club.

Conservative leader James Daly, who tabled the motion explained why he wants the council to investigate the purchase.

He said: “This motion is about whether it’s feasible and possible from a financial perspective. But it’s also about whether the council feels that Bury Football Club and Gigg Lane has sufficient social, culture and economic significance to the town of Bury.

“As we speak, there’s no other credible individual coming forward. We should protect this community asset for generations but also going forward, provide a whole range of facilities that every one in Bury can benefit from.”

The move by the Tories comes after the ruling Labour group tabled a motion in support for Bury FC.

It calls on the two MPs to ask Westminster’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee to revisit their reports regarding football governance, ownership, finance and the lack of grassroots football facilities in England.

The Labour group, which has a majority of five seats at the council, has said it will amend Tories’ emergency motion, saying that they would rather the local authority “facilitates” negotiations.

Council leader David Jones raised concerns about supporting such a strongly-worded motion at a sensitive time for the club.

He also fears that if the council express an interest in buying the club, the asking price would immediately go up.

Cllr Daly told the Bury Times that the council could borrow the money needed to buy the club at a low interest rate.

He has described the move as “self-financing”, arguing that the Gigg Lane site can be used to provide council services to the community.

Liberal Democrat group leader Tim Pickstone did not share his party’s position ahead of the meeting but hinted that his councillors could support the move.

He said: “We’re keen to do anything sensible make sure Bury FC can survive. Councils like Bury have no spare cash after year after year of Government cutbacks, but that shouldn’t stop us looking to see if there are affordable ways to save the club or the ground.”

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